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      Ron Paul, A Force for Peace

      Iowa polling for now shows Rep. Ron Paul leading the Republican pack. Peace and justice advocates should re-examine the profound establishment demonizing of Paul’s “isolationism” and realize that the Congressman represents a genuine strain of opposition to empire – in the long tradition of populism and progressivism, Robert LaFoillette and Mark Twain.

      Yes, Paul’s classic libertarianism leads him to seriously retro positions, like the right of private lunch-counter owners in the Sixties to deny service to anyone. For that reason alone, I would vote for Barack Obama over Paul in a general election.

      But we are talking about Iowa here, about keeping Paul’s voice alive through the Republican primaries. Progressives and Democrats should want Barack Obama to feel compelled to pursue Ron Paul voters and organizers in the general campaign ahead. That is why many young people, independents and peace Democrats – even Occupy supporters - are considering voting in the Iowa primary for Paul.

      Paul opposes the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the buildup toward war with Iran. He opposes the empire of military bases. He opposes Wall Street thievery, tax subsidies for oil companies, the suppression of WikiLeaks, the drug war and the criminalization of marijuana. Those positions might just save America.

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      Reader Comments (5)

      Excellent post Mr. Hayden. You make the statement: "Yes, Paul’s classic libertarianism leads him to seriously retro positions, like the right of private lunch-counter owners in the Sixties to deny service to anyone. For that reason alone, I would vote for Barack Obama over Paul in a general election."
      Let me ask you this: If a known KKK member walked into an African-American owned restaurant, would you insist the law must prevent the owner from denying service?

      December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Mollon

      There is increasing evidence that Dr. Paul conciously associated with and recruited white supremacists and ant-semites to his campaigns. While I respect your view and that of Andrew Sullivan that Paul's views on foreign policy can counter the neo-con dominance of the GOP i am skeptical that they will have a lasting impact. He needs to clearly repudiate the racism within the movement he leads.

      December 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEd Smeloff

      This is one of the only intelligent, politically strategic responses to this election year, which has already sunk to new depths of political discourse. I plan to re-register Republican so as to vote for Ron Paul in the primary, in hopes of seeing him debating Obama in the presidential debates which will, of course, exclude Third Parties. Ron Paul represents the only challenge to perpetual war, the war economy, and "the empire of bases" that's getting much coverage.

      After the Republican primary, I plan to re-register Green to vote for Dr. Jill Stein. The Green Party has to have a presidential candidate in order to have a ballot line in local races in many states, so I'm giving Jill Stein my support in the general election for mounting a protest campaign and making it possible for more local Greens to run for school boards, transit boards, local environmental regulatory boards, and state, county, and municipal office.

      January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Garrison

      We have to admit finally that we live under a quasi-military dictatorship. We Sixties activists have long-known this to be the case, or at least the coming attraction. I recall the words of President Eisenhower: "God help the United States of America, if a man ever occupies this office, who does not understand the military." This seems to be the case with President Obama. He doesn't understand that the military is the dominant actor in this country, and will do what it wants, regardless of presidential opposition or public opinion. Ron Paul, if he ever wins the White House, will face the same problem; he will not be able to deflect the military from its plans, because of the broad support of Congress, the pressure from so-called conservative "think tanks," and the federal bureaucracy, and the pressure on politicians to keep their jobs. I don't see any way to stop the war hawks from bombing Iran and sparking a wider and worse war, especially not with the ongoing, irrational and uncooperative acts of the Iranian leadership, which pours gasoline onto a smouldering issue, provoking more of the same. This situation is already out of control. The march to war against Iran is in the staging phase, as unstoppable as the invasion of Normandy. Short of occupying the White House, Congress, and all federal departments with a million demonstrators in DC, all the Left can do is continue with its failed strategy of protest demonstrations, petitions, networking, coalition-building, written articles, and letter-writing campaigns. If Obama put his foot down and tried to do half of what the Left and Ron Paul wants--dismantling overseas military bases, legalizing marijuana, ending the Fed, and so on--he would be assassinated, like other powerful public figures that unsuccessfully defied the military.

      January 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Havenar

      Sorry so late reading this. Wish it were not too late to build a progressive/libertarian coalition candidacy to challenge the President and Romney. Here have been my feeble efforts at this cause over the past 17months:

      July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCornelius

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